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McVeigh Wrote Congressman Supporting ‘God-given Right To Self-Defense’

May 2, 1995 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oklahoma bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh wrote to Congress three years ago complaining that New York state law prohibited possession of ``noxious substances″ and ``stun guns.″

``I strongly believe in a God-given right to self-defense,″ McVeigh wrote in the Feb. 16, 1992, letter to Rep. John LaFalce, D-N.Y. ``Should any other person or governing body be able to tell another person that he (or) she can’t save their own life.″

Copies of the one-page, hand-printed letter were released today by LaFalce. He said it was discovered through a search of his computerized correspondence files. The original letter and its envelope were given to the FBI on April 25, he said.

On the back of the envelope is a National Rifle Association stamp with the message, ``I’m the NRA.″

At the time it was sent, McVeigh lived near Lockport, N.Y., in LaFalce’s district. He said in the letter that he was prompted to write by an article in the Buffalo News on the arrest of a man for possession of a self-defense spray.

``Now I am a male, and fully capable of physically defending myself, but how about a female?″ McVeigh wrote. ``It is a lie if we tell ourselves that the police can protect us everywhere, at all times. I am in shock that a law exists which denies a woman’s right to self-defense. Firearms restrictions are bad enough, but now a woman can’t even carry Mace in her purse?!?!″

McVeigh allegedly rented the truck that carried the bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19. Officials say 139 bodies have been recovered, including 15 children, and at least 40 people were still missing.

The letter to LaFalce was written just five days after another letter he wrote was published in the Union-Sun & Journal of Lockport, which borders McVeigh’s hometown of Pendleton.

In that letter, McVeigh wrote that it might take a civil war to cure the ills government was inflicting on America.

LaFalce said there was nothing unusual about the letter he received, at the time. A staff aide replied to McVeigh thanking him for his letter and, since it was about state law, forwarded it to McVeigh’s state lawmakers.

``We get hundreds of letters on the subject of guns,″ LaFalce said. ``It’s ironic that he spoke of the `God-given right of self-defense’ and he is the suspect in the murder almost 200 individuals.″

McVeigh’s father also wrote two letters to LaFalce, one on the North American Free Trade Agreement and the other on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. They were not released.